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and now the hard part

And Now the Hard Part

How to Heal the NATO Alliance


U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at NATO
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at NATO
U.S. President Donald Trump arrives to speak to the media during the NATO summit in Brussels on July 12, 2018. Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Brookings scholar Victoria Nuland on why it’s troubled and what to do about it.

The alliance between the United States and the rest of NATO has begun fraying in recent years—at the very moment when the threat posed by both Russia and China is surging. NATO was founded in 1949 on a promise of mutual self-defense. But U.S. President Donald Trump has raised new questions about America’s commitment to that promise, heightening fears across the alliance.

This week on And Now the Hard Part, we trace the roots of the problem and talk about how to fix it.

“My concern is simply that if we ever had a catastrophic moment or a security crisis, do the rest of the members of NATO feel secure enough in the way the United States supports them that they would support us if we needed them?” said the Brookings Institution scholar Victoria Nuland, a former assistant secretary of state and the guest on our show this week.

“It depends on how long this seeding of doubt about our own reliability continues.”

Listen to the episode on this page or subscribe and download wherever you get your podcasts.

About And Now the Hard Part:  The world is a particularly confusing and daunting place these days: Russian bots, North Korean nukes, trade wars and climate emergencies. To understand it better, Foreign Policy and the Brookings Institution are teaming up for an 8-part podcast series. On each episode, host Jonathan Tepperman and a guest from Brookings discuss one of the world’s most vexing problems and trace its origins. And then, the hard part: Tepperman asks the guest to focus on plausible, actionable ways forward. Jonathan Tepperman, Foreign Policy’s editor in chief, hosts the podcast. The guests are some of the smartest and most experienced analysts around—all scholars from the Brookings Institution, including former government and intelligence officials.  See All Episodes


More And Now the Hard Part episodes:

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Brookings President John Allen on why autocrats are rising and what to do about it.

How to Boost the Economies of Africa

Brookings scholar Landry Signé on why the continent underperforms when it comes to trade and what can be done about it.

How to Manage North Korea

Brookings senior fellow Jung H. Pak on why the United States has failed to prevent North Korea from developing nuclear weapons and what to do about it.

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